William with his powder sugar mustache
The day began with a treat of donuts with Hans and his family. Then they took Steve and me to the train station where we were on our own. While Japan boasts an excellent rail system, with signs in Japanese and a bit of English, it can still be a bit confusing. There were more than four train routes to get us to the Narita Airport (about 2+ hours away from Yokosuka). We were trying to find the route with the fewest transfers.
Thanks to a young sailor who came to our rescue. He, too, was going to Narita and changed his route so that we wouldn't make any mistakes. We were grateful, plus enjoyed our visit with him.
Once at the airport and getting our boarding passes, a small earthquake sent the counters vibrating and the windows rattling. Thankfully it was a minor one.
We had a little time for a quick lunch and then proceeded to our gate. Just like the train system in Japan, the flight left precisely at 3 pm, right on time.
During the flight from Japan to Seattle, I watched 3 complete movies, plus watched the nighttime skies periodically. The moon was brightly illuminating the clouds below, and several of the stars were twinkling. For a time I visited with a very nice flight attendant at the back of the plane. All of this helps to pass the time.
In Seattle we had little time to go through customs, retrieve our bags, and go through security again. It's interesting that the hairspray, facial lotion, and hair gel passed security in Japan, but the Seattle folks felt it necessary to confiscate them. We hurried to the gate so we could make the boarding time. But once the plane was filled and ready to push back, it was discovered one of our front tires had a slow leak and the repair team had to be called to fix the problem. This made for about a 40 minute delay. Unfortunately, Heidi was working, so we didn't get to see her. It felt very odd to know she was within a few thousand feet of us and we couldn't see her. I waved from my window as we traveled down the runway in hopes that she was looking my way. Did you see me, Heidi?
We arrived to a very chilly Minnesota, with fresh snow on the ground and a little more falling. Peder, Aurelia and Felix came to pick us up and drive me home. It was good to see them, but truthfully, I was too tired to be much company.
Once in my home, Nels was all over me, which I fully expected. I picked him up and he purred and purred, following my every step.
After being awake over 28 hours, I finally went to bed and fell fast asleep – for about 3-1/2 hours, followed by 2-1/2 hours of being awake. I know this will pass.
This morning I went to church and then had brunch with a friend. It sure is good to be home!